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Listen to the latest Library Lunchtime Lecture

12 February 2016
From Dublin Westward: Petrie, Clonmacnoise and Aran by Professor Tom Dunne

George Petrie (1790-1866) was a noted Antiquarian, whose detailed recording of medieval ecclesiastical architecture, especially, made him an important figure in the development of what became Irish Archaeology. He was a key figure in the commitment of the Royal Irish Academy to the collection and analysis of antiquities, and this was marked by an exhibition of his ‘Views of Dublin’. But he was an artist by training, and for decades his main income came from the production of drawings and water-colours of Irish landscapes, many featuring ruins, and mainly for a series of tourist guides. But he was also intensely patriotic, and dedicated to counteracting the negative colonial stereotype of Ireland and its people. This talk explores how he combined his antiquarian, artistic and commercial interests in a series of patriotic drawings and water-colours of Clonmacnoise and Aran. These came initially from a trip westward in 1821, ‘in search of the ancient and the picturesque’, as he told the publisher, J.N.Brewer, then preparing a guide called, The Beauties of Ireland.

Detailed records of Petrie’s works and selected accompanying images are accessible via our online Prints and Drawings Catalogue.

About the speaker

Tom Dunne, Professor Emeritus of History, University College Cork, has published widely on Irish culture and politics, focussing mainly in recent decades on Irish art from Barry to Maclise. He has co-curated a number of major exhibitions at the Crawford Art Gallery Cork, and contributed an essay to its 2004 catalogue, George Petrie (1790-1866): The Rediscovery of Ireland’s past, edited by Peter Murray.

This lecture took place on Wednesday 3rd February. For details of future Library Lunchtime Lectures see our Events.

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